Week in Review – 19 Feb

GLOBAL

 

15 February 2017

India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) creates world record by sending 104 satellites into space in a single rocket

PSLV_C37 launch. (Hindustan Times)

ISRO successful launched 104 nano satellites into space on the Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), breaking the record held by Russia which sent 37 satellites into space in 2014.

Out of the 104 nano satellites in the rocket’s payload, one of each was from Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UAE and 96 of them are from the US.

The push for space research and exploration has benefited India in several ways one of which is the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) System allows India’s Department of Space (DOS) to monitor the environment and help farmers and fisherman increase their productivity by making optimal use of resources.

 

February 18 2017

Mid-East nations splurge on offensive weapons

A F/A-18E/F Super Hornets of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VFA-211) is lined up for take off on the flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) aircraft carrier in the Gulf June 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo)

Western-backed nations in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia have started to spend more money on purchasing offensive weapons programs to counter Iran.

Weapons purchased include items that boost the attack capabilities of warplanes such as precision air to ground missiles.

Combined military budget for the region is likely to reach USD 180 billion.

This is done likely in response to Iran growing economic and military strength, following the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

19 February 2017

EU sees no U-turn for Brexit

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivers a keynote speech at a pro-Europe event in London, Britain, February 17, 2017. (REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Picture)

 

After the June referendum vote in 2016 to quit the EU, European leaders insisted that Britons were free to change their minds. Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, back in October, said that a U-turn would be legal and that the 27 members of the EU would welcome it. However, he warned Britain that it would either be “Hard Brexit or no Brexit”.

 

While officially the door remains open for Britain to stay in the EU, many in Europe would not welcome a U-turn now. “No one is happy about it. But we have moved on and the last thing anyone wants now is to reopen the whole issue”, said one senior EU diplomat.

The UK Treasury has said that a “Hard Brexit” could cost up to £66 billion and slash UK GDP by 10%.

19 February 2017

USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Patrolling South China Sea

USS Carl Vinson underway in the Pacific Ocean. (Maritimematters.com)

The United States deployed the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to disputed waters in the South China sea as part of routine maritime operations.

Other ships in the strike group include the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer, the US Navy said in a statement. The Vinson carriers a flight group of more than 60 aircrafts onboard which includes F/A-18 jet fighters.

The US Navy has frequently sailed into the South China Sea for Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP) in which US warships assert maritime transit rights against coastal states that impose restrictions on vessels that are inconsistent with the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

 

SINGAPORE

 

February 16 2017

Median household income from work in Singapore up 2.6% in real terms in 2016

Income in Singapore has risen. Data released by the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) revealed that median household income among resident employed households have risen by 2.6 percent in real terms, from $8 666 to $8 846 from 2015 to 2016.

The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, fell to 0.402 in 2016 from 0.409 in 2015,

 

February 18 2017

Companies recognised for efforts to develop staff

A total of 74 employers were awarded the Human Capital Partner symbol.

The Human Capital Partner symbol was launched to encourage companies to develop a “strong Singaporean core”.

Benefits of having the Human Capital Partner symbol for companies include having a dedicated hotline to reach the Ministry of Manpower, being fast-traced when applying to MOM for grants and foreign worker passes.

In order to qualify for the Human Capital Partner symbol, companies need to build a strong Singaporean core by proactively transferring expertise from foreign professional to local Singaporeans and select foreigners who complement instead of substituting local Singaporeans.

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